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The Scepter of Zavandor» Forums » General

Subject: Just confirming.. you could win without rubies, right? rss

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UA Darth
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I'm a newbie... only played my first game the other day. None of the other gems seem to be able to compare to rubies... is it possible to win without going rubies?

 
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Zé Mário
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Yes, there's at least one other strategy: having more diamonds than a rapper.
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James Faulkner
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Rubies are not essential to winning this game.
They are just one approach that sometimes pays off, but can be a little slow to get going. Typically, the Ruby will come with a charge late in the game, but often does not quite get to the front by game end.
 
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UA Darth
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If I remember correctly, there is a sentinel that gives 2 VP per ruby, plus rubies give 3 vp each, plus they have 60 magic per 4... diamonds give less vp, less vp for the sentinel(1 per if I remember correctly), and less magic(20 per 4)... plus, you have to wait for the auction to come up in order to be able to start it...

What am I missing?
 
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Dave Eisen
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Are you following the rule limiting a player to owning 5 rubies?

 
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UA Darth
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dkeisen wrote:
Are you following the rule limiting a player to owning 5 rubies?



Yes, but having 4 rubies and the rest something else still gives you 60 a round.. after 4, it just starts repeating the cycle.
 
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Lacombe
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shadow9d9 wrote:
If I remember correctly, there is a sentinel that gives 2 VP per ruby, plus rubies give 3 vp each, plus they have 60 magic per 4... diamonds give less vp, less vp for the sentinel(1 per if I remember correctly), and less magic(20 per 4)... plus, you have to wait for the auction to come up in order to be able to start it...

What am I missing?


The fact that rubies cost a proportionally higher amount to acquire.

In fact, the proportion is exact: 3/2 [same as 3 vs 2 points for each].

It also takes you quite a long time before you can start making rubies.
 
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Matt Davis
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In fact, I will never go rubies unless I start as the druid (?), who has a leg up on the knowledge track for rubies and can make 1 ruby before he gets all the way to the end. Anyone else I don't think can really make rubies work. The startup cost is huge, and part of that startup cost is spending all your early game knowledge levels on the ruby track.

Now, a lot of diamonds is a fine strategy, but I am confident that a ton of emeralds or even a metric crap-ton of sapphires can win as well. The sapphire strategy is maybe more dependent on other players a bit, as it likes to churn through artifacts quickly, and if someone is helping with that, it goes better.

Just to point out - to get 60 income (on average) takes:

4 rubies - cost 240
6 diamonds - cost 240
8 emeralds - cost 240
12 sapphires - cost 240

This is not a coincidence. Now, each of these has their barrier to happening, which is the balance in the game. The rubies require you to spend your money in bigger chunks, essentially compounding your interest less often - i.e. it's longer before you actually get a ruby that increases your income. Diamonds and emeralds both rely on an artifact, and all the cheaper ones rely on increasing your holding capacity. Everythings has its upsides and downsides, and rubies are far from a dominant strategy.

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UA Darth
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Ok, duly noted. Just figured that it takes a while before diamonds might come out via auction, and I think you need 60, if not 70 to win the auction at minimum if you have more than 10 vp in 1-2nd place.
 
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David Goldfarb
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I have won games with rubies, diamonds, and emeralds. I haven't won with only sapphires, and honestly I'm a little skeptical that it's even possible, but I have to admit I haven't really tried it. (That 60 income mentioned above needs 12 sapphires...but the most gem slots you can have in the game is 11, and in most games you won't have even that many.)
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Dave Eisen
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I have won with sapphires. More precisely: I have won without ever buying an elixir (diamonds), a spellbook (emeralds), or completing the Knowledge of Fire track (rubies). Lots of sapphires though.

But one does not really win with sapphires, but with artifacts. I managed my income by purchasing a lot of the income-generating artifacts and doing so at reasonable prices.
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David Goldfarb
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Okay. I'll concede that it is possible.
 
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UA Darth
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I'm still to figure this out. If playing with 3 players, it is pretty hard to avoid getting 10 victory points, which means you are likely to have ot pay the +10 to artifacts... this is because with few artifacts each round, you have to buy out the artifacts until you could get the ability to make emeralds or diamonds or to get the income generating ones... just buying artifacts will give you the vp to get you past 10...

In our game, maybe it lasted too long due to our inexperience, but we all had the gem knowledge max, so getting rubies were only 8 magic more.

2 of us had about 5-6 artifacts, and 1 of us only had 1.. he was the one that went rubies and crushed us before we could get up that track fast enough.

He and I both were almost maxed on 4 of the tracks as well. The 60 magic(+10 if in 1st-2nd place) artifact that allows diamonds had come out just recently, as had the income generating artifacts(1 emerald card each round). We called the game there as we had no way to catch up.

Sure, most of it was inexperience with the game, but I created the thread just to see that there is indeed other ways to win besides through rubies in a 3 player game.


One other question, the "credit" towards other artifacts.. is that reusable? Also, do you lose the original artifact when using as credit?
 
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Dave Eisen
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shadow9d9 wrote:
I'm still to figure this out. If playing with 3 players, it is pretty hard to avoid getting 10 victory points, which means you are likely to have ot pay the +10 to artifacts... this is because with few artifacts each round, you have to buy out the artifacts until you could get the ability to make emeralds or diamonds or to get the income generating ones... just buying artifacts will give you the vp to get you past 10...


It is only the player who is in the lead in VP who must pay +10. Surely you can manage to not be in the lead at key moments. If not, well, you're crushing everyone and there is nothing to worry about.

Quote:
In our game, maybe it lasted too long due to our inexperience, but we all had the gem knowledge max, so getting rubies were only 8 magic more.


This speaks to inexperience. Getting gem knowledge max is a good idea only with certain strategies. With others, you are paying a lot to advance on that track and are not getting enough benefit in return. Given the high price of rubies, yes, the ruby player (or players) is likely to want to advance all the way on the gem knowledge track.


Quote:
One other question, the "credit" towards other artifacts.. is that reusable? Also, do you lose the original artifact when using as credit?


It is reusable. You do not lose the artifact when using it to get the credit. It is just an additional benefit of purchasing the original artifact.

And they do stack. Multiple Runestones can make the Chalice of Fires very inexpensive late in the game.
 
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UA Darth
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dkeisen wrote:
shadow9d9 wrote:
I'm still to figure this out. If playing with 3 players, it is pretty hard to avoid getting 10 victory points, which means you are likely to have ot pay the +10 to artifacts... this is because with few artifacts each round, you have to buy out the artifacts until you could get the ability to make emeralds or diamonds or to get the income generating ones... just buying artifacts will give you the vp to get you past 10...


It is only the player who is in the lead in VP who must pay +10. Surely you can manage to not be in the lead at key moments. If not, well, you're crushing everyone and there is nothing to worry about.

Quote:
In our game, maybe it lasted too long due to our inexperience, but we all had the gem knowledge max, so getting rubies were only 8 magic more.


This speaks to inexperience. Getting gem knowledge max is a good idea only with certain strategies. With others, you are paying a lot to advance on that track and are not getting enough benefit in return. Given the high price of rubies, yes, the ruby player (or players) is likely to want to advance all the way on the gem knowledge track.


Quote:
One other question, the "credit" towards other artifacts.. is that reusable? Also, do you lose the original artifact when using as credit?


It is reusable. You do not lose the artifact when using it to get the credit. It is just an additional benefit of purchasing the original artifact.

And they do stack. Multiple Runestones can make the Chalice of Fires very inexpensive late in the game.


First 2 players would get the +10 extra cost, even in a 3 player game, no? In our first game, I tried to get into 3rd, but my wife was playing, and she takes a good full game to get it the first go round, so nothing I could do would have dropped me down.
 
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UA Darth
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I just saw that there is a file someone submitted with different 1-3 turn order cards for 3 players.. has anyone tried this?
 
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David Goldfarb
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shadow9d9 wrote:
First 2 players would get the +10 extra cost, even in a 3 player game, no?
No. There's a printing error on the second player turn order card -- the second player should pay only +5 for artifacts and +10 for Sentinels. (If you look at the German, it has the correct numbers. I suspect that whoever was making it bilingual copied the text from the first player card and changed "first" to "second" but forgot to change the numbers.)
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UA Darth
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David Goldfarb wrote:
shadow9d9 wrote:
First 2 players would get the +10 extra cost, even in a 3 player game, no?
No. There's a printing error on the second player turn order card -- the second player should pay only +5 for artifacts and +10 for Sentinels. (If you look at the German, it has the correct numbers. I suspect that whoever was making it bilingual copied the text from the first player card and changed "first" to "second" but forgot to change the numbers.)


Really!? That is lame. Thanks for letting me know.
 
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One Armed Bandit
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Having just played this last week, I can confirm that rubies are not needed to win.

I was playing Rubies myself - had 5 rubies and 3 sapphires by the end (did not buy other gem making artifacts)

I came in 4th out of 4, behind third by over 20 points.

The winner used strictly emeralds. Number 2 was diamonds. Number 3 was a mix of diamonds and emeralds.

As mentioned above, the startup costs on rubies are brutal. Even after you shell out enough to start buying them, you typically have to save for 2-3 turns before you can afford one. It tends to steamroll and you'll have the rest of them in short order after that, but that's still several turns where everyone else is buying up artifacts and cheaper gems.

And even then, to make them work, you need to max Fire, and get at least a few levels in Gem Knowledge to reduce the cost, and that takes even more valuable time.
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Randy Brown
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Rubies are powerful, but I've managed to win with just emeralds. I really want to try a diamond strategy, but it hasn't worked out for me yet. In our games, we shoot for 100-120 income, which may mean that we spend more time in building infrastructure. It sounds like other groups do more saving, and therefore purchase sentinels earlier than we do.
 
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Nathan Hoffmann
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I've won with nothing but sapphires. The key to stopping ruby income crush is to end the game quickly. If you even reach the D deck before game end you have given the ruby players far too much time to build their economy.
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David Goldfarb
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Rubies and high diamonds want to prolong the game so that they can build up their income engines. Conversely, yes, emerald strategies (and sapphires, although I've never actually played a sapphire strategy -- I have seen someone play a "no gems at all" strategy! they didn't win) want to rush things to deny them that time.

I've never seen a game not get to deck D before ending, though, and most of my games have seen the artifact deck entirely depleted.
 
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Just Another User
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To the OP: check out the forums for this game, there are some excellent strategy articles in there for playing every character. And most of them don't recommend rubies...
 
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Nathan Hoffmann
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David Goldfarb wrote:
I've never seen a game not get to deck D before ending, though, and most of my games have seen the artifact deck entirely depleted.


The group think in my area tends towards extremely fast games. We can hammer out a 3 player game in under an hour. At least 75% of our games do not exhaust the entire artifact deck.
 
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